Update (1840ET): Not long after President Trump confirmed that the administration is "looking into" banning TikTok, Reuters has reported that the DoJ and FTC are, in fact, looking into probing TikTok over allegations the company violated a 2019 agreement where it promised to protect children's privacy.
And instead of citing the usual anonymous sources, the report cited officials from various nonprofit groups who claimed that officials from the DoJ and FTC had met with them over complaints that TikTok had violated an agreement reached with the two agencies in 2019.
Officials from both the FTC, which reached the original consent agreement with TikTok, and the DoJ, which often takes legal actions on behalf of the FTC, met via video conference with representatives from the various groups to discuss the matter, according to David Monahan, a campaign manager with the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood, one of the sources who spoke with Reuters.
"I got the sense from our conversation that they are looking into the assertions that we raised in our complaint," Monahan said.
According to the agreement, TikTok agreed to police sensitive information about minor users shared on its platform. But the digital privacy groups who brought the complaint alleged that "TikTok failed to delete videos and personal information about users age 13 and younger as it had agreed to do, among other violations."
We suspect Beijing won't be thrilled about this news, and we imagine the CCP will once again use this as another example of how Chinese companies are persecuted and slandered by the envious west.
* * *
After an intrepid group of "TikTok Teens" purportedly sabotaged President Trump's Tulsa, Oklahoma campaign comeback rally by 'fraudulently' requesting "1 MILLION TICKETS" as Trump Campaign Manager Brad Parscale put it in a tweet when he announced the numbers. By doing this, the media narrative goes, the teens supposedly stopped thousands of eager Oklahoman Trump supporters (read: racists) from obtaining tickets to the rally.
Of course, we later learned that it didn't really go down like that. And even NYT social media reporter Taylor Lorenz urged readers to accept her reporting with a grain of salt. Still, CNN was happy to run with the story.
But before the liberals break out the ukeleles and start strumming the opening to "I Believe the Children are the Future", Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told Fox News Host Larua Ingraham during a Monday evening interview that the administration is "looking into" the possibility of banning the app in the US.
WaPo noted that Pompeo's interview, and his comments on TikTok, followed the TikTok teens sabotage campaign. But this is hardly the first time the secretary of state has warned about the dangers of using the app. At this point, we wouldn't be surprised to learn that the White House sees this as a bunch of gullible American teenagers being manipulated like a gang of 'useful idiots' by the CCP. Notably, Kellyanne Conway's teenage daughter is now using the app to thoroughly embarrass the bejeezus out of her mother by airing the family dirty laundry in public.
Sec. Pompeo when asked if the Administration has considered banning TikTok: “We’re certainly looking at it.” pic.twitter.com/N9NmbDOka0— Benny (@bennyjohnson) July 7, 2020
India recently banned TikTok and dozens of other Chinese apps, and Ingraham was simply asking if the Trump Administration, which has been ratcheting up the pressure on China, might consider pursuing a similar tack.
“We’re certainly looking at it,” Pompeo said, adding that the administration was taking the issue “very seriously.” “With the respect to Chinese apps on people’s cellphones, I can assure you the United States will get this one right.”
But he added: "I don’t want to get out in front of the president, but it’s something we’re looking at.”
Asked if he could endorse Americans downloading the app to their phones, Pompeo replied: "Only if you want your data in the hands of the Chinese Communist Party."
If you have any doubts about whether TikTok is working to expand the influence of the CCP in the US, give this WSJ story published last month a read...
This is insane https://t.co/Rt1t7SxoIc— jsadinolfi (@jsadinolfi) June 17, 2020